Saturday, October 30, 2010

ABSA discourages use of farm land for collateral

ABSA discourages use of farm land for collateral
By Kabanda Chulu
Sat 30 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

ABSA’s head of agribusiness Hans Balyamujura has said the use of agricultural land as collateral when getting a loan is being eroded due to various factors that are considered by banks.

Giving a perspective on “Increasing private sector financing in agriculture-challenges and opportunities” during a regional financing agriculture meeting in Malawi, Amalgamated Bank of South Africa (ABSA)’s Balyamujura said farmers were not price setters but takers.

“This becomes difficult for farmers to pay back loan obligations because they don’t get a price that is in line with their production costs so banks consider these factors when lending to agriculture and when production drops, even the value of land declines since there can’t be value if land is not productive and it becomes difficult to use it as collateral,” Balyamujura said.

“Even when you take (an inactive) land in default, the banks will end up selling it below market price because it is not active, thus attracting less value.”

He explained that financing agriculture was considered to be a cycle by many banks because of the various processes involved when approving a loan.

“Financing agriculture is strictly for commercial purposes and small scale farmers are treated this way because the bank ends at lending and hopes to get a return, actually banks look at agriculture as a cycle evolving through several value chains such as the input producer has plant and machinery while the supplier only has a warehouse and it has no value if goods are not available,” said Balyamujura.

“And when the farmer gets the input, what is he going to produce? Does he have the market? What kind of processors will handle his goods? These are some of the underlying factors banks consider before lending to farmers.”

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How democratic are our political parties?

How democratic are our political parties?
By The Post
Sat 30 Oct. 2010, 08:50 CAT

The observations made by Fr Patrick Chibuye, of Mpika Catholic Diocese, on the state of democracy within our political parties deserve favourable considerations.

Our political parties have a fundamental and indispensable role in the governance of our country. There are, however, a number of institutional guarantees that our political parties will have to fulfill if they are to effectively meet our expectations from them. And one such institutional requirement is intra or inner-party democracy.

Our political parties are said to be the building blocks of our democracy. And indeed if they are truly the building blocks of our democracy, then they cannot afford not to be democratic themselves for to do so will be a contradiction both in terms and in values. This very important institutional dimension is, however, lacking in most of, if not all, our political parties. As such, any initiative to address this democratic deficit will be both noble and pertinent.

Our political parties have a fundamental and indispensable niche in the governance of our country. Indeed, so fundamental are our political parties to the operation of our politics that their role and significance are often taken for granted. As a matter of fact, our democracy is inconceivable without political parties, hence we talk of multi-party democracy.

Internal democracy within our political parties enhances a necessary viable democratic culture within our political parties as well as society at large. Furthermore, democratic procedures may have positive effects on the representation of ideas of the electorate and may strengthen our political parties by attracting new members and creating space for fresh ideas. And democratic internal procedures may provide necessary vertical linkages between different deliberating spheres, as well as a horizontal linkage between competing issues within our political parties.

Of course in advocating for increased intra-party democracy, we are not calling for uniformity within all our political parties. This will be wrong because no one-size-fits-all approach should be adopted. We say this because the benefits of intra-party democratisation depend on many things and as such different methods may be appropriate for different parties. And if wrong methods are used by a political party to pursue intra-party democracy, internal unity within our political parties may be threatened.

But whatever methods are used, they must result in more improved and acceptable ways of choosing leaders for the party in a more free and fair way. And they should also increase the participation of all members in the affairs of the party. Internal democracy should reduce the dominance of elites, non-competitive leadership elections, discriminatory selection of candidates and clientelism.

We see increased participation of all members to be the central element of intra-party democracy. Representation of ideas of various groups within a political party can often be better guaranteed by stimulating participation than by the sheer organisation of party elections. We say this because this participation involves the influence of rank and file members on the party’s policies, as well as representation at party activities and in party bodies. In most of our political parties, if not all, continuous or at least regular consultation of grassroot members is not present, which poses major threats to the representative relations between party leaders and members. Democratic policy making should involve a participative process of policy development in forums, debates, consultation meetings and other platforms and should decentralize the mandate of decision making to the rank and file of the political party.

Clearly, a proper measure of democracy should be put into effect in all our political parties. Once this is done, unity will be achieved in our political parties and the militancy will be greatly increased. If this is done, our political parties will be able to achieve more even with their poor or very limited financial resources. Members should be free to hold meetings and to speak out; trivial formalities should be done away with; and the party accounts should be open for all to inspect. Our political parties need democracy just as much as the whole nation needs it.

With the present challenges and problems facing our country, all leading bodies, members and cadres of all our political parties should give the fullest expression to their initiatives. These initiatives must be demonstrated concretely in the ability of the leading bodies, the cadres and the party rank and file to work creatively, in their readiness to assume responsibility, in the exuberant vigour they show in their work, in their courage and ability to raise questions, voice opinions and criticise defects, and in the comradely supervision that should be maintained over the leading bodies and the leading cadres.

But the exercise of such initiative depends on the spread of democracy in party life. It cannot be brought into play if there is not enough democracy in party life. Only in an atmosphere of democracy can large numbers of people be brought forward.

Anyone should be allowed to speak out, whoever he may be, so long as he does not make malicious attacks, and it does not matter if he says something wrong. Leaders at all levels have the duty to listen to others. Here, two principles must be observed: say all you know and say it without reserve; don’t blame the speaker but take his words as a warning. Unless the principle of “don’t blame the speaker” is observed genuinely and not falsely, the result will not be “say all you know and say it without reserve”.

Education in democracy must be carried on within all our political parties so that their members can understand the meaning of democratic life and the way in which democracy should be put into practice. Only in this way can we really extend democracy within our political parties and at the same time avoid ultra-democracy and the laissez-faire which destroys discipline. Inner-party democracy is meant to strengthen discipline and increase militancy, not to weaken them.

Arrogance, the airs of a self-styled hero usually creep into our political parties after some electoral victories. Flattery of the leaders starts to grow within the party. There is need to guard against such a situation.
Many things may become baggage, may become encumbrances, if we cling to them blindly and uncritically. Having made mistakes, you may feel that, come what may, you are saddled with them and so become dispirited: if you have not made mistakes, you may feel that you are free from error and so become conceited. All such things become encumbrances or baggage if there is no critical awareness.

Some party leaders have become arrogant and high handed in their behaviour towards the members and cadres of their political parties, always blaming others but never themselves, always seeing their own achievements but never their shortcomings and always welcoming flattery but never criticism. Our political parties must endeavour to eradicate these defects.

There is need for the leadership of our political parties to be fair and kind to other members of their parties, especially those who are competing with them for leadership positions within the party. Rough handling and marginalisation of other outstanding members will always leave a strong legacy of bitterness and resentment - the walking wounded. This will cultivate tendencies towards extensive defensivism, and also to habits of counterfactionalism in some cases, with party cadres running the danger of falling excessively into the same factional politics - of palace manoeuvres and electoral putsches. There are also some worrying signs in almost all our political parties of the dangers of disciplinary measures being used to settle political differences. The principal cause of all this is careerism, patronage and ambition. And this is much more so in the ruling party. But this is not to say the opposition political parties are immune from it. All need to be extremely vigilant about the grave dangers of abuse of their parties and their resources for careerist and patronage purposes.

And as we have repeatedly stated, experience has repeatedly shown that a political party divided into hostile groups loses its militancy. Protracted inner-party strife inevitably results in party members’ concentration on discords. The party becomes distracted from political struggle and day-to-day work among the masses and loses its influence. The cure for all this is effective intra or inner party democracy.

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‘Zambia’s economic growth not enough to eradicate poverty by 2015’

‘Zambia’s economic growth not enough to eradicate poverty by 2015’
By Staff Reporter
Sat 30 Oct. 2010, 03:59 CAT

ZAMBIA’S current economic growth is not sufficient to eradicate extreme poverty by 2015, a recent update on the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has indicated.

Analysing Zambia’s progress towards the attainment of the MDGs by 2015, the UN country team stated that macro-economic and structural policies that promote employment, economic inclusion, empowerment and social investment were essential in reducing poverty.

“Extreme poverty declined from 58 per cent in 1991 to 51 per cent in 2006, improving towards the target of 29 per cent. However, extreme poverty is still higher in rural areas at 67 per cent compared to 20 per cent in urban areas. On the target to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger, the prevalence of underweight children declined from 22 per cent in 1991 to 14.6 per cent in 2007, while the target is 11 per cent,” the UN stated.

The UN further noted that net enrolment of children in primary education had increased from 80 per cent in 1990 to 101.4 per cent in 2009, supported by increased construction of schools, the removal of school fees in 2002 and free basic education and re-entry policies.

“The primary education target is thus attainable, as the objective is 100 per cent. The main challenges at present are adult literacy, which declined from 79 per cent in 1990 to 70 per cent in 2004 and the 17.4 per cent completion rate of girls in secondary school in 2009,” they stated.

The report further noted that important progress had been attained in malaria, under the MDG 6 which is to combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases, as the proportion of children under five who sleep under an insecticide-treated net soared from 6.5 per cent in 2001-2002 to 41.1 per cent in 2008.

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MMD C/belt councillors call for change of top leadership

MMD C/belt councillors call for change of top leadership
By Darious Kapembwa and Mwila Chansa
Sat 30 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

SOME MMD councillors on the Copperbelt have said the performance of the party in recent parliamentary and ward by-elections is a wake-up call to change the top leadership, starting with President Rupiah Banda. And the councillors have expressed fear that the MMD does not stand a chance in the forthcoming general elections next year, given its current form.

Speaking in separate interviews, MMD Mutaba ward councillor David Kalutwa said he agreed with some party leaders for contending that MMD Lusaka Province chairman William Banda was the cause of the loss that the party suffered in Chilanga.

“You see people like William Banda are UNIP mentalists and it’s people like him and President Rupiah Banda from UNIP who should be gotten rid of, in order to polish up the party, because how can one, day in and out keep intimidating people? MMD is not known for that, but it’s happening now and the result is that we have lost almost all elections,” Kalutwa said.

He said the recent results showed that the people of Zambia were fed up with the MMD even in rural areas.

“If you look at Chilanga, it was our seat, there is no way we can allow UPND to win it, and when you talk of Mpulungu it is a clear fact that the PF is in control of that area. When you calculate how PF has managed to reduce the gap from almost 6,000 previously to 400, it tells you that we are in serious problems come next year and I can assure you that we the people are on the ground and we are listening from the grassroots. William and Rupiah must go back to UNIP,” he charged.

Other councillors from Copperbelt who spoke on condition of anonymity said the levels of resentment had grown because people were fed up with the MMD.

The councilors, in apparent reference to President Banda, said it was clear that a certain commander-in-chief had brought in his own lieutenants from UNIP who understood very little about the MMD.

“My brother you know that it was not like this previously because we had MMD leaders, but this time no matter how people want to pretend to keep their jobs, the fact is that next year doesn’t look promising for us if we maintain these people,” the councilors said.

But MMD Copperbelt youth chairman Evans Chibanda said blaming William Banda for the loss in Chilanga was misplaced.

He said Chilanga had always been turbulent for the MMD because even in 2006 they just won it by a ‘whisker’.

He claimed that the MMD was not worried about the losses they encountered in ward by-elections in Ndola, Luanshya and Chinsali because they were PF strongholds.

Chibanda said much as the results of the by-elections across the country stood as a wake-up call for the MMD, they also showed that democracy was thriving because people were able to choose leaders of their choice.

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MMD is on a looting mission – Mpombo

COMMENT - This is why a nationalist ideology is so important. Without it, all you have left are politicians who enter politics to enrich themselves.

MMD is on a looting mission – Mpombo
By George Chellah
Sat 30 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

GEORGE Mpombo yesterday said the current squabbles over campaign funds within the MMD confirm that the party under President Rupiah Banda's leadership is on a looting mission. And Mpombo has said the recent by-election results have confirmed that it is game over for Rupiah Banda’s presidency in the country.

Commenting on the differences that have emerged within the MMD over the Chilanga parliamentary by-election loss, Mpombo, who is also Kafulafuta MMD member of parliament, said it was clear that plunder is what was currently driving the MMD agenda.

“These are people who have realised that they are heading for serious political troubles, so everybody is trying to secure his future. It's purely a looting agenda and people are so desperate for survival beyond 2011,” Mpombo said.

“These squabbles or fights just confirm that the party under Mr Banda's leadership is on a looting mission. It’s an indication that the MMD is on a looting mission that's why they are in a hurry to remove Article 37 from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act.”

He described the current rating of the MMD as being very low.

“There is a lot of economic plundering going on. As you have seen even people that were economic cripples and were chased out of Lusaka by court bailiffs, they were driven out of Lusaka to their villages, today they have amassed so much wealth,” Mpombo said.

“They have amassed wealth in a short space of time. They realise that it's just a couple of months and there will be a new government in place no wonder they are fighting over campaign funds.”

And Mpombo has said the recent by-election results in Mpulungu and Chilanga were a watershed referendum on President Banda's leadership and the future of the MMD as a party.

“The recent results show a rebuff of Mr Banda's lackadaisical and clumsy leadership. And also a rejection of his political plagiarism of the late Mwanawasa's projects as his own initiative,” Mpombo said. “The MMD has been hit by a debilitating and creeping bout of political crunch which has sent the party into a deep, irretrievable political recession.”

He said it was definitely game over for President Banda.

“The aftermath of the by-elections both in Mpulungu and Chilanga leaves the MMD in a situation like a passenger plane which has developed dangerously low levels of cabin pressure and is lurching from side to side while losing all forms of contact with the control tower and flying below the radar and heading for total crash-landing,” Mpombo said.

“For instance, in Mpulungu the MMD was saved by a whisker. If people are honest with themselves, there should even be no celebrations considering the strong and formidable challenge that PF posed because PF didn't even have proper structures on the ground.

“The Mpulungu result is clearly a death knell for MMD in that part of the Northern Province. This is a well-known fact considering that in 2006 when the late Lameck Chibombamilimo contested, the MMD beat PF by over 6,000 votes. Therefore, come next year MMD will not be a factor in Mpulungu because it's already neutralised in that area.

He said the previous results have indicated that the MMD support in that region has been dwindling.

“The MMD is on its way out and people should just accept it and not comfort themselves. There is nothing to celebrate because the MMD is clearly on its way to Damascus,” Mpombo said.

“The MMD's Mpulungu result is a source of great shame and it does not inspire the membership. The narrow margins are the surest indicators that the MMD has lost grip because of Mr Banda's poor leadership. And a leader must improve on the fortunes of its leadership.”

On Thursday, well-placed sources within the MMD revealed that the mismanagement of funds that were meant for campaigns contributed to the loss in Chilanga.

And education deputy minister Chrispine Musosha confirmed that some MMD members steal money meant for by-elections campaigns at the expense of delivering victory for the party.

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Kambwili accuses ECZ of bias towards MMD

Kambwili accuses ECZ of bias towards MMD
By Ernest Chanda in Lusaka and Darious Kapembwa in Kitwe
Sat 30 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

ROAN Patriotic Front (PF) member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili has observed that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will never gain people's confidence if election results continue to be disputed. Contributing to the ECZ 2011 estimates of expenditure in Parliament on Thursday, Kambwili urged the Commission to be credible and partial. He accused the Commission of bias towards the MMD.

“Our Electoral Commission of Zambia has lost the confidence of Zambians because every year in year out, elections are disputed. And when you have such a situation it means the problem is with the Electoral Commission,” Kambwili debated.

“It is extremely difficult to believe that even the ruling party can petition an election. This is a sign that even them they don't have confidence in ECZ. They petitioned Mufumbwe election, a sign that even them they don't have confidence in the Electoral Commission.”

He contended that ECZ had failed to deal with electoral violence and malpractices even if political parties report to them.
Kambwili charged that the Commission had many times failed to deal with complaints raised against the MMD.

"Our Electoral Commission has failed to curb electoral violence and fraud. There is electoral fraud going on under their nose and they know it. But they don't do anything, more especially if that fraud is committed by MMD; they remain mute,” said Kambwili. “In Mufumbwe it was in black and white that the violence was caused by MMD, and yet no MMD cadre has been arrested up to now; only UPND cadres. Members of the ruling party have even started beating up people at funerals, it's shameful!”
On the Commission's autonomy, Kambwili said it could never be independent for as long as the President continued appointing commissioners and directors.

He also questioned the relevance of intelligence officers in conducting elections.
Kambwili cited the just-ended Mupulungu by-election where Office of the President (OP) officers were demanding to see election results before they were taken to the ECZ.

And Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director Charity Musamba asked the government to clearly state the role of the OP officers in elections.

Musamba was reacting to the reported electoral malpractices where an MMD cadre was caught attempting to vote twice and the presence of OP personnel in polling stations in the recent Mpulungu by-elections.

“Any practice that threatens the holding of free and fair elections such as people wanting to vote twice is a danger to democratic governance and it is a duty of the MMD government to aspire to attain proper standards in the conduct of elections,” Musamba said.

She said it was time to prepare for credible general elections saying the time to put everything in place was now.

She said Zambia had not had free and fair elections since 1991 when there was a shift from the one party state to plural politics.

“You know it’s not that the country cannot manage to hold free and fair elections, it is possible to hold free and fair, non-violent elections like we had in 1991 but there are just a few things that need to be done; government must give confidence in the Electoral Commission of Zambia to let the commission handle electoral issues independently,” she added.

She said it was important to let people choose their own leaders than one imposing themselves on the people through malpractices.

Musamba said it was wrong to make elections a preserve of the ‘toughees’ who were immune to violence.

She said right now people felt that it was not competitive to vote because of the manner in which elections were being conducted.

Musamba urged Zambians to continue working with organisations such as hers in sensitising the electorate on the importance of free and fair elections and stop treating elections as a tedious process.

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Kidney patients bemoan cost of dialysis treatment

Kidney patients bemoan cost of dialysis treatment
By Agness Changala
Sat 30 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

PATIENTS suffering from kidney failure have appealed to President Rupiah Banda to help reduce the cost of undergoing the dialysis process at Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital (UTH).

Kenny Lundu, a Lusaka resident currently undergoing the dialysis process at the UTH, said he bought a fistula in Zimbabwe at a cost of US$7,000 a year ago. Lundu said his employers gave him a loan and they were still deducting from his salary. He said he usually attended three sessions in a week at the hospital at a cost of K600,000.

“Then about K300,000 for other medications which comes to K1 million a week and in a month K4 million,” he explained.

Lundu said it was clear that accessing the service was not easy and most people were dying because they could not afford.

He said if the government could reduce the price further or make the service free, more people could afford the treatment.

Lundu said as a civil servant, his salary was too low and the only option to save his life was to get a loan.

Another patient who declined to be named bemoaned the cost of accessing the service.

She said as much as they were happy that the machines to save their lives had increased in number, the cost was too high.

To start the dialysis process, patients suffering from acute renal failure curable require a temporary tube to be connected to the dialysis machine which costs K600,000, while those suffering from chronic renal failure require a permanent tube which is pegged at K3 million. The other alternative to a permanent tube is a fistula, which is a connection between the vein and an artery, making it easier to put a needle for a connection to the dialysis machine. The operation to insert the fistula was usually done in South Africa and Zimbabwe at a cost of K35 million. However, this operation will now be performed in the country at a lower cost.

Thereafter, the patient has to undergo one session of haemo blood dialysis cleaning at a cost of K400,000. Each patient requires three sessions in a week. Those on permanent dialysis chronic renal failure pay K200,000 while the government pays K200,000. Those suffering from acute renal failure where recovery is expected access the temporary tube and haemo dialysis for free.

During the commissioning of the Renal Dialysis Unit at UTH on Thursday, President Rupiah Banda said it was common knowledge that the number of patients with kidney-related complications was increasing in Zambia.

He said on average, 10 patients attended dialysis sessions per day, culminating in an average of 190 sessions per month.

President Banda said the cost of refurbishment of the ward with the partner Tokushikai Medical Group had totalled K3.5 billion.

However, he said the cost did not include the training of three nurses, one doctor and one technician, which was facilitated by the Tokushikai Medical

Group in conjunction with Nitro Medical, the manufacturers of the machines.

President Banda expressed gratitude to the company for bringing to Zambia such quality equipment and for training staff to operate the machines.

And Japanese company executive director Katsuyuki Noso said the equipment would help Zambia provide quality health services to the people.

Noso said the government would also save on the costs to send patients abroad.

The newly-launched Renal Dialysis Unit comprises 10 new machines, bringing the total number of the machines at UTH to 13.

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ADB completes line of credit to Zanaco, Investrust

ADB completes line of credit to Zanaco, Investrust
By Mutale Kapekele
Sat 30 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

THE African Development Bank has completed its US$ 13.5 million Line Of Credit (LOC) to Zanaco and Investrust banks which will be used to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs) development.

Zanaco and Investrust banks have accessed US$ 10 million and US$ 3.5 million respectively for the five-year SME initiative that is expected to enhance the sector’s access to finance on more favorable terms.

During the launch of the SME initiative, ADB resident representative Dr Freddie Kwesiga said despite his bank investing US $1 billion since coming to

Zambia in 1971 and the current support of US $200 million, there was still a deficit in financing the private sector, especially SMEs.

He said the SME was an important sector to any economy as it employed many of the marginalised groups in society like women and youths.

Dr Kwesiga said his bank was committed to supporting Zambia’s development agenda by providing assistance in infrastructure development, regional integration and private sector development.

“The bank’s sectorial focus will include agriculture, energy, power and transport, hinged around national economic diversification programme,” Dr Kwesiga said. “Linked with the sectors I have mentioned, to the private sector we will focus on leveraging sector resources through supporting Private
Public Partnerships (PPPs), deepening financial intermediation in the financial sector to catalyse development of mortgage financing and support to SMEs through lines of credit as well as supporting reforms to provide reforms that provide wider competiveness and improved business environment.”

Dr Kwesiga said Zambia had a lot of opportunities to reduce poverty through PPP initiatives and partnerships with cooperating partners.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

(LUSAKATIMES) Delayed payment of farmers due to untimely budgetary allocation

COMMENT - So Minister Elijah Muchima, when is this going to change? It does not help the farmers to just know why they are not getting payed for their product or work. How about cash on delivery?

Delayed payment of farmers due to untimely budgetary allocation
Friday, October 29, 2010, 11:39

Southern province minister, Elijah Muchima has attributed the late delay of paying farmer’s maize grain sold through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to untimely budgetary allocation that was slotted to the agency during the 2009/10 farming season.

Mr. Muchima however said government was doing everything possible to ensure that all the maize from the season’s bumper harvest shall be secured and paid for.

Officiating at the Chungu , Lwiindi traditional ceremony of chief Chikanta of the Tonga people in Kalomo recently, Mr. Muchima said FRA before the maize buying extension exercise of September 30, to October 30, managed to buy 800,000 x 50 kilo grams of maize requiring a total of K62 billion to be paid out to the farmers.

He however, observed that not all the farmers have been paid to date due to limited budgetary allocation which was given to FRA.

The district in the previous farming seasons saw FRA operating in only 7 buying satellite depots while this year it increased to 21 depots.

” We budgeted for K100 billion for FRA but with due respect even to our mothers, when you are an expectant mother and you are thinking of a giving birth to one child but upon delivery you give birth to triplets what do you expect of your financial planning for your babies?” the minister explained.

And FRA spokesperson, Mwamba Siame also confirmed in an interview that by mid October, a balance of K33.7 billion had been paid out with 29 billion balance to offset the farmers for their produce which is channeled through the local Finance Bank.

Mrs Siame however said the Agency was on a monthly basis remitting colossal millions of kwachas to 68 districts in the country engaged in the maize buying exercise from farmers.

She also disclosed that over 100 tarpaulins have been sent to the district to secure the bought grain that is on open slabs and storage sheds to protect it from excessive exposure to either sun or before the onset of rains.

The FRA is also hauling maize to a newly constructed storage shed in town with a capacity of 400,000 x 50 kilograms bags of maize that costed K1.1 billion and built by a Chinese contractor, Camco.

Meanwhile, government under the National Rural Water and Sanitation Supply programme with the cooperation of the Danish International Development Agency (DANNIDA) is engaged in the construction of Siachiba Dam in chief Simwatachela’s area of Kalomo to alleviate water problems faced by the rurals in the locality.

Kalomo district council secretary, Alfred Mungalu said the construction of the dam which has its works done by 40 per cent by CHOBRO Earth moving would cater for over 3,260 people in the dotted nine villages living around its vicinity. He said the project was one of the biggest GRZ/DANNIDA/Community funded project in the district apart from the drilling of boreholes being carried out in the same programme.

The construction of the dam is to cost over K1.168 billion and so far project chairperson, Ketson Siampule has commended the contractor for good workmanship at the site which he said 4.5 metres depth have been done. Siampule said the water body would alleviate water problems faced by the existence of dry boreholes in the hilly Simwatachela chiefdom part.

And the Kalomo community has expressed concern of the opening of the K1 billion district hospital project which started four years ago. The project undertaken by JOKA construction limited through the poverty reduction programme is suppose to house dual male and female surgical/medical wards together with a children’s wing including a theatre compartment and a maternity wing.

The current district hospital is rated as a grade 1 urban clinic operating without a theatre. However district health sources said almost all the works have been done with only few touches remaining.

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(LUSAKATIMES) Health Minister dismisses global fund report on heatlh

Health Minister dismisses global fund report on heatlh
Friday, October 29, 2010, 14:28

Health minister, Kapembwa Simbao has described as scandalous the global fund report that highlights both the public and private institutions in the country as having misapplied resources meant for the provision of quality health services.

Mr. Simbao said that the Zambian government is being marginalized in the report.He told QFM that the government did not at any point misapply any resources and is being implicated in this matter because the country is the one on the begging end.

He said that the resources were released as per requirement but the workers are the ones who misapplied the fund and government should not be the one to blame.

Mr. Simbao said that in other countries, governments did indeed squander resources but r Zambia particularly never touched that money.

The recent global fund audit report has cited the ministry of health as not possessing the capacity to handle the global fund money.


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Banda urges E/Province to defend its presidency

Banda urges E/Province to defend its presidency
By Christopher Miti in Chipata
Fri 29 Oct. 2010, 04:01 CAT

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has said he will be viewed as a wizard if he wins everywhere and loses in Chiparamba, his home area in Chipata district. And former Kasenengwa UNIP parliamentarian Timothy Nyirenda said the people of Eastern Province would not allow the Presidency to be in the province for only two years.

Addressing a political rally at Kalichero Farmers Centre in Chiparamba area of Kasenengwa Constituency on Wednesday, President Banda who received a number of defectors led by Nyirenda and former Vubwi UNIP parliamentarian Phillip Phiri said it would be a bad day for him to lose in Chiparamba.

“Now for us here in the Eastern Province when the voting will be taking place in 2011, the eyes and country will be to see how you have voted. As you know most of you people where I am standing right here, this is where I come from like the majority of you here and so if I win everywhere and lose here I think that will be a bad day. Nikaoneke ngati mfwiti sure akwanu kukukanila kukuvotela nelakwanji I will be viewed like a wizard if you my relatives don’t vote for me, what wrong did I do,” President Banda said. “So that’s why I have come in open. I am your child. You need to vote for me, especially the old ones.”

President Banda described the speech by Nyirenda as one of the best speeches he had ever heard.

“I liked the speech, especially why you should vote for me. He made it very clear to you that this is the first time in the history of our country since independence that someone from here has ascended to the Presidency of this country,” he said.

“And many of you know how it came about. So it means that I have only been President for two years. The Constitution says five years, the only five years that I would have been able to serve will start in 2011. Wherever I go in this country those who support my candidature regardless of that province they make same points like Mr Nyirenda has made.”

President Banda told Nyirenda, who resigned from UNIP revival forum to join PF and finally to MMD, that he would be insulted by PF leader Michael Sata because he did not want people to leave his party.

And Nyirenda said the people in Eastern Province should vote for President Banda in the next election.

“In Northern Province we had Dr Kaunda who was President for 27 years. From there we had Dr Chiluba from Luapula for ten years. From there it went to Central and the Presidency was there for only eight years because of Mwanawasa’s death. Now the Presidency is here in Eastern Province and will not allow for the Presidency to be here for only two years,” Nyirenda said.

“We are going to have it for seven years and I am urging the people to register as voters and make sure President Banda gets five years.”

Nyirenda said all the previous presidents failed to tar the Chipata/Mfuwe road but President Banda revived it.

He said many people had left UNIP because it would never be politically strong again.

Nyirenda appealed to President Banda to address the wrangle surrounding the chief Chikuwe chieftaincy, which had been on for the past 17 years.

And when commissioning the police houses at Chipata Central Police Station on Tuesday, President Banda said the government would rebuild the country.

“Me and my colleagues have devoted most of your resources to building be it roads, bridges; be it power stations, be it houses, be it factories. Everything that needs to be built, we are trying to do it and we are inviting investors from everywhere to come to our country,” President Banda said.

“Here where I am standing in Chipata I see new structures coming up. I see new hotels already open at the corner there, I see new shopping malls. That is how a country grows, it can’t grow by magic.”

President Banda said he was happy to handover the houses to the police service.

“I have been traveling through this road Umodzi Highway many times. I have been wondering when we shall complete and handover these houses to our police officers to live in. And today is a day, thank you very much,” he said.

“It is so important that we the Zambian people rebuild our country. Many of our structures that we have in our country are old structures. In a town like Chipata, which was once a capital of Zambia the same old building has not been attended to for a long time. Your government under my leadership is determined to rebuild this country that is why everyday we are calling on the Zambian people to unite for progress for development.”

President Banda said people asked for police posts and police stations wherever he went because the police were instrumental in curbing crime.

He also observed that Gondar Barracks, one of the oldest in the country, was in a deplorable state and the government would look into the matter.

President Banda said the government would ensure that houses for security personnel in the country were rebuilt to enhance their living standards.

Eastern Province minister Isaac Banda said the commissioning of the houses was a great boost to the morale of the police officers.

The commissioning of the houses was delayed as President Banda only arrived at about 17:45 hours instead of the scheduled 14:00 hours.

Earlier, President Banda had flown to Lundazi for the funeral of veteran politician Dingiswayo Banda and later received some defectors in the district.

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Rupiah must stop posing with other people’s wives - Sata

Rupiah must stop posing with other people’s wives - Sata
By George Chellah
Fri 29 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

RUPIAH must stop posing with other people's wives, PF leader Michael Sata has said. Reacting to President Rupiah Banda's recent attack that he was telling people lies that he would put money in their pockets and yet his grandparent was suffering at the village, Sata said once elected he would show President Banda that Zambia could be governed better.

"Tell Rupiah that if he stops travelling aimlessly and stops showing off or posing with other people's wives in Mbala, Zambians can manage to have more jobs and more money in their pockets. Let him stop posing with other people's wives like he was recently doing in Mbala," said Sata in apparent reference to President Banda's recent pictures during the just-ended Mpulungu by-election.

"Our aim is to better the lives of our people. As PF we desire to empower our people and ensure that they lead dignified lives hence our slogan that 'more jobs and more money in your pocket'. And we strongly believe that with prudent management of national resources this can be achieved."

Sata said President Banda's conduct was costing the country huge sums of money, which if properly utilised could assist in improving the lives of many Zambians.

"Tell him that as long as he continues being childish and a playboy, he will never put money in people's pockets or better their lives," Sata said. "I am glad he is admitting that people in my village are suffering because of his irresponsible and insensitive leadership."

Sata said President Banda's celebrations over Mpulungu were temporary.

"He will not smile for long. And let him not even cheat himself that they are making progress. The MMD is sinking at a very fast rate in Northern Province while PF is growing," Sata said.

"Take Mpulungu for instance; the late Lameck Chibombamilimo thumped our candidate in 2006 by over 6,000 votes. But Given Mung'omba has only managed to dubiously get that seat by 500 votes. With such results how can someone be jumping all over the place that they have triumphed? No wonder I am saying their celebration is short lived and come 2011, Mpulungu and the nearby constituencies are gone to PF. The same way we have managed to reduce the margin from 6,000 to 500 votes is the same way we shall silence them next year."

Sata said PF was now established in the entire Northern Province.

"The MMD of the Mwanawasa days used to give us problems in Mpulungu, Mbala, Senga Hill, Isoka and Nakonde. But we have conquered that terrain and the Mpulungu result underscores that fact. I am advising Rupiah to watch what will emerge after the general election next year, especially that even new voters have been captured," Sata said.

"Gaston Sichilima and Kapembwa Simbao, among others, know what is happening in that part of Zambia politically. They know that the MMD's days in these areas are numbered. If they know how to read politics, I am sure they can tell where they are going. So you tell Rupiah that his smile over Mpulungu is temporary."

Sata said PF has also grabbed local government seats from the MMD in Chinsali and the Copperbelt.

Addressing a rally in Chipata on Wednesday, President Banda said Sata was telling his supporters that when he comes to power he would perform magic and that everybody would have money in the pockets, which he described as a lie.

"Can such a thing happen? People of Chiparamba have refused this. They are saying it's a taboo. He is telling us lies that he would put money in our pockets onama wenye kuti akatiyike ndalama mthumba, ambuya bake kumunzi obvutika posabachita kubaika ndalama mthumba (he is telling us a lie that he would put money in pockets but his grandparent is suffering at the village but why is he not putting money his grandparent's pockets. Don't worry we are going to face him. I am praying that God gives me strength, we will meet in the campaign and the last day of counting election results akakambe kuti chanichita chaipa (I have been defeated badly)," said President Banda.

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Kafunda asks Sangwa to step down from representing Mahtani

Kafunda asks Sangwa to step down from representing Mahtani
By Namatama Mundia
Fri 29 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

LUSAKA chief resident magistrate Charles Kafunda yesterday asked Lusaka lawyer John Sangwa to step down from representing former Finance Bank chairman Dr Rajan Mahtani who is facing a charge of unlawfully acquiring 25 per cent voting shares in the commercial bank and money laundering activities.

And magistrate Kafunda refused to move one of the cases Dr Mahtani was facing to another court, arguing that there was nothing unusual for one accused person to appear before the same court for different cases.

Meanwhile, magistrate Kafunda ruled that he will not halt proceeding in Dr Mahtani’s case pending the outcome of the petition in the High Court.

This is a matter in which Dr Mahtani is in the first count charged with the offence of acquiring beneficial interest in voting shares of a bank without prior approval in writing of the Bank of Zambia.

In the second count, Dr Mahtani is charged with the offence of money laundering contrary to section 7 of the prohibition and prevention of money laundering Act.

When the matter came up for commencement of trial yesterday, magistrate Kafunda ordered Sangwa to stand down as a lawyer for Dr Mahtani in a case before him whilst the broader aspect presented in the two cases before him are addressed as a policy by the judiciary and stakeholders.

“It would be improper for him to appear in this matter as counsel. I would urge him to stand down as counsel in this matter,” magistrate Kafunda said.

He also said there was nothing unusual for one accused person to appear before the same court for different cases.

Magistrate Kafunda said while he appreciated, and to a large extent agreed with defence lawyer Stephen Malama’s concerns that the placement of two cases did present a predicament in respect of Sangwa, he did not agree that the cure to the problem presented lied in moving one case to another court.

“This issue to me is as I put it to the defence on the last occasion. This presents a policy issue transcending beyond the professional aspect affecting Sangwa and it is a matter that the judiciary and the justice system stakeholders must address,” magistrate Kafunda said.

“At this stage, the office of the registrar is aware of this novel problem though, no position has been taken yet.”

On the defence’s suggestion that the court in its discretion should halt proceedings awaiting the outcome of the ruling from the High Court on Dr Mahtani’s petition, magistrate Kafunda refused to halt the proceedings and agreed with the state that it would only be proper to halt the proceedings if the High Court so directed.

“I will therefore not permit the defence’s prayer on this point,” said magistrate Kafunda.

The matter has been adjourned to November 19.

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SADC engages Maureen to address cross border trade meeting

SADC engages Maureen to address cross border trade meeting
By Florence Bupe
Fri 29 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) has engaged Maureen Mwanawasa as one of the prominent people to address the forthcoming high level meeting on Informal Cross Border Trade in southern Africa.

According to the official invitation letter signed by SADC deputy executive secretary for regional integration Joao Samuel Caholo, Maureen is scheduled to speak on the topic ‘Why SADC should Focus on ICBTs (Informal Cross Border Traders): Advancing Trade and Women’s Empowerment’ on November 1, 2010.

The ICBT meeting is set to take place in Harare, Zimbabwe, from November 1 to 3, 2010.

Caholo stated that ICBT had continued to be one of the ignored sectors in the region despite its vast contribution to economic growth and development.

It has also been observed that ICBT in the southern African region is a matter of gender as the majority of those actively involved in the sector are women.

And a letter from Maureen’s office indicated that the former first lady had accepted the invitation as well as the role of advocating for enhanced ICBT in the region.

The meeting will be jointly funded by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the European Union.

Two senior government officials from each member state representing gender and trade ministries are expected to attend the meeting.

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Zambia needs to secure its market position in the DRC - Michelo

Zambia needs to secure its market position in the DRC - Michelo
By Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Fri 29 Oct. 2010, 04:01 CAT

ZAMBIA needs to secure its market position in the DRC by introducing new companies, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) director of export promotion Glyne Michelo has advised.

Delivering a key note speech on Wednesday on the occasion of the 10th trade mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Michelo said there was need for Zambia to maintain and expand its market share in the vast Central African country.

At the moment, DRC - mainly Katanga Province - is the largest export market for Zambian non-traditional export products and is the largest in both the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Zambia this year plans to boost its exports to DRC to more than US $2 billion from US $1.4 billion in 2009, taking advantage of the flexible trade terms.

“In order for us to maintain and expand the market share for Zambian companies and also introduce other companies,” said Michelo who is also in charge of market development at ZDA, “it is imperative to relentlessly undertake such promotional activities that enable exporters from the two countries to build their capacities and network among themselves for the common good.”

Michelo led export-ready companies dealing in various non traditional goods and services that included agro-seed, cement, timber, protective clothing, safety clothing, leather and leather products, engineering products, pharmaceutical products, food items among others.

“I am certain that the business people from the two countries will use this platform to strengthen their business links that will culminate into actual execution of business transactions,” said Michelo.

“It is gatherings like this that we will be able to put faces to our emails and telephone conversations and this will enhance our market visibility and develop relations that are mutually beneficial.”

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(TRUTHOUT) WikiLeaks Ready to Drop a Bombshell on Russia

WikiLeaks Ready to Drop a Bombshell on Russia. But Will Russians Get to Read About It?
by: Fred Weir | The Christian Science Monitor | Report
Tuesday 26 October 2010

Moscow - The Kremlin had better brace itself for a coming wave of WikiLeaks disclosures about Russia, the website's founder, Julian Assange, told a leading Moscow newspaper Tuesday.

"We have [compromising materials] about Russia, about your government and businessmen," Mr. Assange told the pro-government daily Izvestia. "But not as much as we'd like... We will publish these materials soon."

He then dropped a hint that's likely to be nervously parsed in Russia's corridors of power: "We are helped by the Americans, who pass on a lot of material about Russia," to WikiLeaks, he said.

Russian security experts say there probably won't be anything comparable to the huge archives of US military secrets from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that the website has recently published.

'A Lot of Interesting Facts' About Russia

Assange and another WikiLeaks spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson, who talked to the daily Kommersant Tuesday, refused to provide details.

"Russians are going to find out a lot of interesting facts about their country," Ms. Hrafnsson told Kommersant, adding that WikiLeaks would soon be targeting "despotic regimes in China, Russia, and Central Asia" in a series of fresh document dumps.

"If they are going to disclose details of secret bank accounts and offshore businesses of the Russian elite, then the effect will be shocking," says Stanislav Belkovsky. president of the Kremlin-connected Institute of National Strategy. "Most Russians believe that political leaders and others have siphoned off billions of dollars into foreign accounts, but proof of something like that would be dynamite."

Will Russia See It in the Media?

But nobody should expect the tightly-controlled Russian media to report on any WikiLeak revelations about Russia in the thorough manner that Western media have analyzed the huge troves of documents about Afghanistan and Iraq, says Sergei Strokan, foreign affairs columnist with Kommersant.

"You can expect minimal coverage, without any dangerous details, from major Russian news organizations," he says. "Of course there are independent print publications, and the Internet, where it might get picked up and discussed. But there will be no national discussion, no wider repercussions. This is not a country where media disclosures can lead to political changes."

In fact, a US-based website recently published a huge trove that purported to be secret operational documents of Russia's FSB security service, and no one in Russia even noticed, says Andrei Soldatov, editor of, an online journal that reports on the secret services.

"Unlike what happens in the US, no Russian journalists even mentioned these materials, which included reports of FSB operations in Ukraine, Turkmenistan, and other countries," says Mr. Soldatov. "No reporters asked the FSB any questions; there was no independent process that might have determined the validity of the documents, or what significance they might have for the Russian public. Nothing at all."

The documents, stamped "top secret," were posted last June on, a website hosted in the US and registered in Egypt, and mysteriously taken down three weeks later. Visitors now find only a message saying the site is "under construction."

An English translation of Soldatov's article about the episode can be found here.
Mr. Strokan says it's not surprising that "American sources" might be ready to dish up Russian secrets for publication on WikiLeaks.

"It's a whole new world of kompromat [a Russian expression meaning 'compromising materials'] out there," he says. "There are political interests all over the world watching this, and it's dawning on them that WikiLeaks is a powerful new tool for wielding influence or undermining a competitor.

"We're going to see a lot more of this."

All republished content that appears on Truthout has been obtained by permission or license.

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(TRUTHOUT) Wolfowitz Directive Gave Legal Cover to Detainee Experimentation Program

Wolfowitz Directive Gave Legal Cover to Detainee Experimentation Program
Thursday 14 October 2010
by: Jason Leopold and Jeffrey Kay
t r u t h o u t | Investigative Report

(Illustration: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t)
In 2002, as the Bush administration was turning to torture and other brutal techniques for interrogating "war on terror" detainees, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz loosened rules against human experimentation, an apparent recognition of legal problems regarding the novel strategies for extracting and evaluating information from the prisoners.

Wolfowitz issued a little-known directive on March 25, 2002, about a month after President George W. Bush stripped the detainees of traditional prisoner-of-war protections under the Geneva Conventions. Bush labeled them "unlawful enemy combatants" and authorized the CIA and the Department of Defense (DoD) to undertake brutal interrogations.

Despite its title - "Protection of Human Subjects and Adherence to Ethical Standards in DoD-Supported Research" - the Wolfowitz directive weakened protections that had been in place for decades by limiting the safeguards to "prisoners of war."

"We're dealing with a special breed of person here," Wolfowitz said about the war on terror detainees only four days before signing the new directive.

One former Pentagon official, who worked closely with the agency's ex-general counsel William Haynes, said the Wolfowitz directive provided legal cover for a top-secret Special Access Program at the Guantanamo Bay prison, which experimented on ways to glean information from unwilling subjects and to achieve "deception detection."
"A dozen [high-value detainees] were subjected to interrogation methods in order to evaluate their reaction to those methods and the subsequent levels of stress that would result," said the official.

A July 16, 2004 Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) report obtained by Truthout shows that between April and July 2003, a "physiological warfare specialist" atached to the military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) program was present at Guantanamo. The CID report says the instructor was assigned to a top-secret Special Access Program.

In his book "The Terror Presidency," Jack Goldsmith, the former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, said Wolfowitz was “put in charge of questions regarding detainees” at Guantanamo. Goldsmith also previously worked with Haynes at the Pentagon.

It has been known since 2009, when President Barack Obama declassified some of the Bush administration's legal memoranda regarding the interrogation program, that there were experimental elements to the brutal treatment of detainees, including the sequencing and duration of the torture and other harsh tactics.

However, the Wolfowitz directive also suggests that the Bush administration was concerned about whether its actions might violate Geneva Conventions rules that were put in place after World War II when grisly Nazi human experimentation was discovered. Those legal restrictions were expanded in the 1970s after revelations about the CIA testing drugs on unsuspecting human subjects and conducting other mind-control experiments.

For its part, the DoD insists that it "has never condoned nor authorized the use of human research testing on any detainee in our custody," according to spokeswoman Wendy Snyder.

However, from the start of the war on terror, the Bush administration employed nontraditional methods for designing interrogation protocols, including the reverse engineering of training given to American troops trapped behind enemy lines, called the SERE techniques. For instance, the controlled-drowning technique of waterboarding was lifted from SERE manuals.

Shielding Rumsfeld

Retired US Air Force Capt. Michael Shawn Kearns, a former SERE intelligence officer, said the Wolfowitz directive appears to be a clear attempt to shield then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from the legal consequences of "any dubious research practices associated with the interrogation program."

Scott Horton, a human rights attorney and constitutional expert, noted Wolfowitz's specific reference to "prisoners of war" as protected under the directive, as opposed to referring more generally to detainees or people under the government's control.

"At the time that Wolfowitz was issuing this directive, the Bush administration was taking the adamant position that prisoners taken in the' war on terror' were not 'prisoners of war' under the Geneva Conventions and were not entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions.
"Indeed, it called those protections 'privileges' that were available only to 'lawful combatants.' So the statement [in the directive] that 'prisoners of war' cannot be subjects of human experimentation ... raises some concerns - why was the more restrictive term 'prisoners of war' used instead of 'prisoners' for instance."

The Wolfowitz directive also changed other rules regarding waivers of informed consent. After the scandals over the CIA's MKULTRA program and the Tuskegee experiments on African-Americans suffering from syphilis, Congress passed legislation known as the Common Rule to provide protections to human research subjects.

The Common Rule "requires a review of proposed research by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), the informed consent of research subjects, and institutional assurances of compliance with the regulations."

Individuals who lack the capacity to provide "informed consent" must have an IRB determine if they would benefit from the proposed research. In certain cases, that decision could also be made by the subject's "legal representative."

However, according to the Wolfowitz directive, waivers of informed consent could be granted by the heads of DoD divisions.

Professor Alexander M. Capron, who oversees human rights and health law at the World Health Organization, said the delegation of the power to waive informed consent procedures to Pentagon officials is "controversial both because it involves a waiver of the normal requirements and because the grounds for that waiver are so open-ended."

The Wolfowitz directive also changes language that had required DoD researchers to strictly adhere to the Nuremberg Directives for Human Experimentation and other precedents when conducting human subject research.

The Nuremberg Code, which was a response to the Nazi atrocities, made "the voluntary consent of the human subject ... absolutely essential." However, the Wolfowitz directive softened a requirement of strict compliance to this code, instructing researchers simply to be "familiar" with its contents.

"Why are DoD-funded investigators just required to be 'familiar' with the Nuremberg Code rather than required to comply with them?" asked Stephen Soldz, director of the Center for Research, Evaluation and Program Development at Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.

Soldz also wondered why "enforcement was moved from the Army Surgeon General or someone else in the medical chain of command to the Director of Defense Research and Engineering" and why "this directive changed at this time, as the 'war on terror' was getting going."

Soldz is co-author of a report published in June by the international doctors' organization Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which found that high-value detainees who were subjected to brutal torture techniques by the CIA were used as "guinea pigs" to gauge the effectiveness of the various "enhanced interrogation" methods. PHR told Truthout it first examined the Wolfowitz directive and changes Congress made to 10 USC 980, the law that governs how the Defense Department spends federal funds on human experimentation, in 2008 while preparing its report, but did not cite either because the group could not explain its significance.

Treating Soldiers

The original impetus for the changes seems to have related more to the use of experimental therapies on US soldiers facing potential biological and other dangers in war zones.

The House Armed Services Committee proposed amending 10 USC 980 prior to the 9/11 attacks. But the Bush administration pressed for the changes after 9/11 as the United States was preparing to invade Afghanistan and new medical products might be needed for soldiers on the battlefield without their consent, said two former officials from the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Yet, there were concerns about the changes even among Bush administration officials. In a September 24, 2001, memo to lawmakers, Bush's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said the "administration is concerned with the provision allowing research to be conducted on human subjects without their informed consent in order to advance the development of a medical product necessary to the armed forces."

The OMB memo said the Bush administration understood that the DoD had a "legitimate need" for "waiver authority for emergency research," but "the provision as drafted may jeopardize existing protections for human subjects in research, and must be significantly narrowed."

However, the broader language moved forward, as did planning for the new war on terror interrogation procedures.

In December 2001, Pentagon general counsel Haynes and other agency officials contacted the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA), which runs SERE schools for teaching US soldiers to resist interrogation and torture if captured by an outlaw regime. The officials wanted a list of interrogation techniques that could be used for detainee "exploitation," according to a report released last year by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

These techniques, as they were later implemented by the CIA and the Pentagon, were widely discussed as "experimental" in nature.

Back in Congress, the concerns from the OMB about loose terminology were brushed aside and the law was amended to give the DoD greater leeway regarding experimentation on human subjects.

A paragraph to the law, which had not been changed since it was first enacted in 1972, was added authorizing the defense secretary to waive "informed consent" for human subject research and experimentation. It was included in the 2002 Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress in December 2001. The Wolfowitz directive implemented the legislative changes Congress made to 10 USC 980 when it was issued three months later.

The changes to the "informed consent" section of the law were in direct contradiction to presidential and DoD memoranda issued in the 1990s that prohibited such waivers related to classified research. A memo signed in 1999 by Secretary of Defense William Cohen called for the prohibitions on "informed consent" waivers to be added to the Common Rule regulations covering DoD research, but DoD never implemented it.

Congressional Assistance

As planning for the highly classified Special Access Program began to take shape, most officials in Congress appear to have averted their eyes, with some even lending a hand.
The ex-DIA officials said the Pentagon briefed top lawmakers on the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee in November and December 2001, including the panel's chairman Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and his chief of staff Patrick DeLeon, about experimentation and research involving detainee interrogations that centered on "deception detection."

To get a Special Access Program like this off the ground, the Pentagon needed DeLeon's help, given his long-standing ties to the American Psychological Association (APA), where he served as president in 2000, the sources said.

According to former APA official Bryant Welch, DeLeon's role proved crucial.
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"For significant periods of time DeLeon has literally directed APA staff on federal policy matters and has dominated the APA governance on political matters," Welch wrote. "For over twenty-five years, relationships between the APA and the Department of Defense (DOD) have been strongly encouraged and closely coordinated by DeLeon....

"When the military needed a mental health professional to help implement its interrogation procedures, and the other professions subsequently refused to comply, the military had a friend in Senator Inouye's office, one that could reap the political dividends of seeds sown by DeLeon over many years."

John Bray, a spokesman for Inuoye, said in late August he would look into questions posed by Truthout about the Wolfowitz directive and the meetings involving DeLeon and Inuoye. But Bray never responded nor did he return follow-up phone calls and emails. DeLeon did not return messages left with his assistant.

Legal Word Games

Meanwhile, in January 2002, President Bush was receiving memos from then-Justice Department attorneys Jay Bybee and John Yoo as well as from Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Bush's White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, advising Bush to deny members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Conventions.

Also, about a month before the Wolfowitz directive was issued, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) asked Joint Forces Command if they could get a "crash course" on interrogation for the next interrogation team headed out to Guantanamo, according to the Armed Services Committee's report. That request was sent to Brig. Gen. Thomas Moore and was approved.

Bruce Jessen, the chief psychologist of the SERE program, and Joseph Witsch, a JPRA instructor, led the instructional seminar held in early March 2002.

The seminar included a discussion of al-Qaeda's presumed methods of resisting interrogation and recommended specific methods interrogators should use to defeat al-Qaeda's resistance. According to the Armed Services Committee report, the presentation provided instructions on how interrogations should be conducted and on how to manage the "long term exploitation" of detainees.

There was a slide show, focusing on four primary methods of treatment: "isolation and degradation," "sensory deprivation," "physiological pressures" and "psychological pressures."

According to Jessen and Witsch's instructor's guide, isolation was the "main building block of the exploitation process," giving the captor "total control" over the prisoner's "inputs." Examples were provided on how to implement "degradation," by taking away a prisoner's personal dignity. Methods of sensory deprivation were also discussed as part of the training.

Jessen and Witsch denied that "physical pressures," which later found their way into the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" program, were taught at the March meeting.
However, Jessen, along with Christopher Wirts, chief of JPRA's Operational Support Office, wrote a memo for Southern Command's Directorate of Operations (J3), entitled "Prisoner Handling Recommendations," which urged Guantanamo authorities to take punishment beyond "base line rules."

So, by late March 2002, the pieces were in place for a strategy of behavior modification designed to break down the will of the detainees and extract information from them. Still, to make the procedures "legal," some reinterpretations of existing laws and regulation were needed.

For instance, attorneys Bybee and Yoo would narrow the definition of "torture" to circumvent laws prohibiting the brutal interrogation of detainees.

"Vulnerable" Individuals

In his directive, Wolfowitz also made subtle, but significant, word changes. While retaining the blanket prohibition against experimenting on prisoners of war, Wolfowitz softened the language for other types of prisoners, using a version of rules about "vulnerable" classes of individuals taken from regulations meant for civilian research by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

This research and experimentation examined physiological markers of stress, such as cortisol, and involved psychologists under contract to the CIA and the military who were experts in the field, the ex-DIA officials said.

One study, called "The War Fighter's Stress Response," was conducted between 2002 and 2003 and examined physiological measurements of mock torture subjects drawn from the SERE program and other high-stress military personnel, such as Special Forces Combat Divers.

Researchers measured cortisol and other hormone levels via salivary swabbing and blood samples, a process that also was reportedly done to war on terror detainees.
Three weeks after the Wolfowitz directive was signed, SERE psychologist Jessen produced a Draft Exploitation Plan for use at Guantanamo. According to the Armed Services Committee's report, JPRA was offering its services for "oversight, training, analysis, research, and [tactics, techniques, and procedures] development" to Joint Forces Command Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Robert Wagner. (Emphasis added.)

There were other indications that research was an important component of JPRA services to the DoD and CIA interrogation programs. When three JPRA personnel were sent to a Special Mission Unit associated with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in August 2003 for what was believed to be special training in interrogation, one of the three was JPRA's manager for research and development.

Three former top military officials interviewed by the Armed Services Committee have described Guantanamo as a "battle lab."

According to Col. Britt Mallow, the commander of the Criminal Investigative Task Force (CITF), he was uncomfortable when Guantanamo officials Maj. Gen. Mike Dunleavy and Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller used the term "battle lab," meaning "that interrogations and other procedures there were to some degree experimental, and their lessons would benefit DoD in other places."

CITF's deputy commander told the Senate investigators, "there were many risks associated with this concept ... and the perception that detainees were used for some 'experimentation' of new unproven techniques had negative connotations."
In May 2005, a former military officer who attended a SERE training facility sent an email to Middle East scholar Juan Cole stating that "Gitmo must be being used as a 'laboratory' for all these psychological techniques by the [counter-intelligence] guys."

The Al-Qahtani Experiment

One of the high-value detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo who appears to have been a victim of human experimentation was Mohammed al-Qahtani, who was captured in January 2002.

A sworn statement filed by Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt, al-Qahtani's attorney, said Secretary Rumsfeld was "personally involved" in the interrogation of al-Qahtani and spoke "weekly" with Major General Miller, commander at Guantanamo, about the status of the interrogations between late 2002 and early 2003.

The treatment of al-Qahtani was cataloged in an 84-page "torture log" that was leaked in 2006. The torture log shows that, beginning in November 2002 and continuing well into January 2003, al-Qahtani was subjected to sleep deprivation, interrogated in 20-hour stretches, poked with IVs and left to urinate on himself.

Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who represents al-Qahtani, had said in a sworn declaration that her client, was subjected to months of torture based on verbal and written authorizations from Rumsfeld.

"At Guantánamo, Mr. al-Qahtani was subjected to a regime of aggressive interrogation techniques, known as the 'First Special Interrogation Plan,'" Gutierrez said. "These methods included, but were not limited to, 48 days of severe sleep deprivation and 20-hour interrogations, forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, physical force, prolonged stress positions and prolonged sensory over-stimulation, and threats with military dogs."

In addition, the Senate Armed Services Committee report said al-Qahtani's treatment was viewed as a potential model for other interrogations.

In his book, "Oath Betrayed," Dr. Steven Miles wrote that the meticulously recorded logs of al-Qahtani's interrogation and torture focus "on the emotions and interactions of the prisoner, rather than on the questions that were asked and the information that was obtained."

The uncertainty surrounding these experimental techniques resulted in the presence of medical personnel on site, and frequent and consistent medical checks of the detainee. The results of the monitoring, which likely included vital signs and other stress markers, would also become data that could be analyzed to understand how the new interrogation techniques worked.

In January 2004, the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) initiated a DoD-wide review of human subjects protection policies. A Navy slide presentation at DoD Training Day on November 14, 2006, hinted strongly at the serious issues behind the entire review.

The Navy presentation framed the problem in the light of the history of US governmental "non-compliance" with human subjects research protections, including "US Government Mind Control Experiments - LSD, MKULTRA, MKDELTA (1950-1970s)"; a 90-day national "stand down" in 2003 for all human subject research and development activities "ordered in response to the death of subjects"; as well as use of "unqualified researchers."

The Training Day presentation said the review found the Navy "not in full compliance with Federal policies on human subjects protection." Furthermore, DDR&E found the Navy had "no single point of accountability for human subject protections."

DoD refused to respond to questions regarding the 2004 review. Maj. Gen. Ronald Sega, who at the time was the DDR&E, did not return calls for comment.

Ongoing Research

Meanwhile, the end of the Bush administration has not resulted in a total abandonment of the research regarding interrogation program.

Last March, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, who recently resigned, disclosed that the Obama administration's High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG), planned on conducting "scientific research" to determine "if there are better ways to get information from people that are consistent with our values."

"It is going to do scientific research on that long-neglected area," Blair said during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. He did not provide additional details as to what the "scientific research" entailed.

As for the Wolfowitz directive, Pentagon spokeswoman Snyder said it did not open the door to human experimentation on war on terror detainees.

"There is no detainee policy, directive or instruction - or exceptions to such - that would permit performing human research testing on DoD detainees," Snyder said. "Moreover, none of the numerous investigations into allegations of misconduct by interrogators or the guard force found any evidence of such activities."

Snyder added that DoD is in the process of updating the Wolfowitz directive and it will be "completed for review next year."

This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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Jason Leopold is the Deputy Managing Editor at Truthout. He is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller, "News Junkie," a memoir. Visit for a preview.

Jeffrey Kaye, a psychologist living in Northern California, writes regularly on torture and other subjects for Firedoglake. He also maintains a personal blog, Invictus. His email address is sfpsych gmail dot com.

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(LUSAKATIMES) The Barotseland contention

The Barotseland contention
Thursday, October 28, 2010, 13:38
By Godwin M Kaluwe

The recent protest in Western Province on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, resulting in very serious injuries and one death was something that should never have happened. But the government’s reckless behavior by ignoring Western province submissions to the new constitution has outraged the people of Barotseland. This is a good example of how civil wars are born. One little spark is capable of igniting a huge and destructive fire.

All this came about in August 2010, following the release of the final draft of the constitution. It was discovered then that all the submissions from western province were not included. Someone essentially thought they were not that important, and that Zambia can do just fine without them. Turned out to be a big mistake and recipe for disaster. Prior to this incident, when asked if he would ever thank the people of WP for tilting the presidential election results in his favor; president Banda is believed to have said; ” I did not ask for their votes.”

As if that was not enough, the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia went to Western province and made a very troubling statement at the Ku-fuluhela gathering, which is reverse of Ku-omboka 2010. He publicly told the people; ” A Mulozi will never be president of Zambia.” People were so shocked that the Induna who was translating for him collapsed and passed out. Without an apology, he further demanded for another translator. The final nail on the unitary state coffin came when the constitution submissions from western province were thrown out of the draft. People who were in denial of government agenda can now smell the coffee. Hence the events of that fateful Saturday, after three requests to legally acquire public permit to hold a public meeting were denied by the pro Barotseland freedom advocates, not secessionists,

Barotse Agreement 1964

What many people do not understand is that the WP submission included a review of the Barotse Agreement 1964, which was the vehicle for the unitary state of the Republic of Zambia, without which the boundary between Zambia and Barotseland would have been the line of rail from Copper belt to Victoria falls. When King Lewanika signed successive treaties back in 1890, that claimed a vast area of Northern Rhodesia, he protected North-Western province from the Portuguese, Copper belt and Luapula from the French and Belgians, Northern and Eastern provinces from the Germans, and the whole Nation of Zambia was preserved as we know it today. This is the reason Zambia is known as King Lewanika’s country or Kingdom. Lewanika is a nickname, his real name was Lubosi. He acquired Liwanika name as people remembered his ability to unite tribes and Nations. Of the 73 plus Zambian languages, 31 are from Barotseland. In truth there is no tribe called Lozi. Bulozi or Barotseland is a Nation or Kingdom consisting of different tribes and peoples who have come to be known as Malozi today. There is no Lozi versus Nkoya, Mbunda, Luvale, Nyengo, Toka, Leya, Mbukushu, Mboela, Cokwe, Mweenyi, Kwangwa, Simaa, Subia, etc. Lozi is citizenship not a tribe. But those who want to devide and rule erroneously or purposely designate Lozi versus all of the above.

The following are implications of not including Western Province submissions:

* Technically and by default Barotseland ceases to be part of Zambia. Barotse Agreement 1964 was the glue of the union of the two nations
* Zambia cannot hold Barotseland accountable for stay, to an agreement Zambia no longer respects or considers abrogated.
* The Zambian Government will create a peaceful political atmosphere to help Barotseland resort to her original status, by referendum or other, if necessary.
* All Barotseans residing in the main-stream Zambia will be free to have dual citizenship or choose to stay wherever they want.
* The rest of the Zambians residing in Barotseland will choose to stay or have dual citizenship and live wherever they want.
* The Royal establishment resumes the role of reorganizing their government with the Litunga as King of Barotseland.
* The two governments will discuss boundary modalities without a fight, under AU and UN supervision
* The natural boundary being Kafue river running west side of Itezhi-tezhi passing through Namwala and Mulobezi area to Livingstone.
* Zambia takes Copper belt and the predominantly Lozi speaking people of Livingstone continue to be in Barotseland
* Kabompo and Zambezi will choose to stay in Zambia or be free with Barotseland
* The government of Barotseland will not seek to retrieve original parts of Barotseland now occupied by other countries like Kwando area in Angola, Caprivi Strip in
Namibia, Kasane area in Botswana, and Victoria falls town to the border with Hwange, in Zimbabwe.
* Barotseland will be a good neighbor of Zambia and the surrounding nations.
* Barotseland will join Common wealth nations, UN, AU, SADC and other.
* There is no treasonable charge against freedom of speech and expression of self-determination
* The Republic of Zambia under the surveillance eye of the International community will be a benchmark of a peaceful transition in Africa.

One of the objectives of Barotseland Peace Foundation, as a non profit and an apolitical organization, is to advocate for peace and facilitate for peaceful and transparent deliberations regarding conflict resolutions. Therefore, Both Zambia and Barotseland will benefit greatly by working with BAPF. We invite all other peace loving and peace making entities to join us in this matter, so we can resolve this matter without bloodshed. Self-Determination is imbedded in human rights, a privilege for all people everywhere in the world. There is a distress call from the people of Barotseland. The International community should not wait until it turns into Rwanda, Sudan, or Bosnia. Now is the time to respond and prevent war! Ki naako!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) Munya appointed diamond ambassador

Munya appointed diamond ambassador
By: Our reporter
Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:32 am

ZIMBABWE representative to the Big Brother All Stars, Munyaradzi Chidzonga has lived up to his ‘diamond boy’ status after being presented with a US$20 000 diamond ring and appointed diamond ambassador by an Indian diamond firm.

Just a few days after receiving a whooping US$300 000 from a consortium of local business people who felt he had been given a raw deal at the Big Brother Africa All Stars television reality show, Munyaradzi Chidzonga has assumed the role of a diamond ambassador after being bestowed that honour by head of the visiting Indian business delegation from the Surat Rough Diamonds Sourcing company, Mr Ashit Mehta.

“Giving Munya a diamond ring confirms the diamond ambassador status,” said Mr Mehta.

The diamond boy was presented with a diamond ring worth around US$20 000 by the Indian team as part of the honour of representing the firm.

In his message, Munya expressed gratitude at the honour given to him and urged other youth to effectively participate in the socio-economic transformation of the country.

Article continues below

“I can’t describe the feeling at the moment. I didn’t expect that such a thing would happen to me. Well, I will do my best in ensuring that I conduct myself professionally in this role I have been given,” Munya said.

The 24 year-old film actor stole the hearts of many BBA followers across the continent with his resilience and exceptional intelligence, typical of Zimbabweans.

Munya had his wish of meeting the President fulfilled when he met Head of State and Government and Commander- in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Cde Robert Mugabe on Wednesday.

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(TALKZIMBABWE) Ethanol key to energy independence

Ethanol key to energy independence
By: Garikai Chengu
Posted: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:39 am

ZIMBABWE'S Agrarian Revolution is proving to be a resounding success on several fronts, not least the extent to which it is promoting economic independence. In order to achieve energy independence Zimbabwe must embark on yet another agrarian revolution, this time fuelled by ethanol.

Ethanol is a clean-burning motor fuel that is produced from renewable sources such as sugar cane. Ethanol can be blended with petrol or diesel, effectively allowing Zimbabwe to ''grow" some of its own fuel.

Currently Zimbabwe does not blend ethanol in its fuel nor does the nation have legislation that regulates and promotes the investment, production, marketing, and use of ethanol.

However, such legislation would unlock several enormous benefits of ethanol use for the nation, namely: energy independence, rural development and job creation and finally combating climate change.

The importance of Zimbabwe weaning itself off dependence on foreign oil is highlighted by, firstly, the fact that Zimbabwe is a non-oil producing country with comparatively high costs of importing oil due to its land-locked nature.

Secondly, the foreseeable persistent increase in prevailing international oil prices means that the nation will have to spend more of its scarce foreign exchange resources to obtain the same amount of fuel, putting pressure on the country’s balance of payments position.

By ensuring that ethanol constitutes up to 25 percent of transport fuel, Zimbabwe can reduce its dependence on foreign oil and lower exposure to the price volatility of the international oil market.

The production and use of ethanol would benefit the economy on all levels - local, provincial, and national. From the metropolitan areas where drivers would fill up with a domestically produced fuel, to the local communities where the crops are grown and processed, Zimbabwean-made ethanol shall help propel the economy.

A prime example of how ethanol production can benefit local communities, by promoting rural development and creating employment, is the ongoing construction of the biggest ethanol plant in Africa in Chipinge. By March 2011, the billion dollar ethanol project will produce 100 million litres of ethanol per annum, which is about 20 percent of the country’s total fuel requirements.

Ethanol holds the promise of contributing to rural development by creating jobs in feedstock production, biofuel manufacture, and the transport and distribution of feedstock and products. In fact, the Ethanol plant in Chipinge will employ over 7,000 people. Ten thousand hectares has also been set aside for local farmers to be contracted to grow sugar-cane.

Quite aside from ethanol's contribution to energy independence and rural development, Government should put its weight behind ethanol as a means of combating climate change.

By signing the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement connected to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Zimbabwe has committed to reduce fossil fuel use, thereby reducing carbon emissions and helping to curb climate change and global warming.

In this respect, biofuels like ethanol have one enormous, overwhelming plus-point, which is that they are carbon-neutral. When fossil fuels, oil, gas or coal are burned in cars or power stations, they add to the net amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas, which is the main cause of global warming. The carbon they release is new to the atmosphere, because it has been buried deep within the earth for millions of years.

On the other hand, when biofuels like ethanol are burned, they are only releasing the carbon dioxide which was absorbed from the atmosphere by the crops used to produce them as they grew. Biofuels are therefore classed as a renewable energy source.

Despite the fact that ethanol is home-grown, clean and renewable, Government only approved a draft energy policy for the first time in 2008 since achieving independence in 1980. However, Government is still yet to formulate a comprehensive policy on ethanol.

Government must draft comprehensive legislation that regulates and promotes the investment, production, marketing, and use of ethanol. The absence of firm mandates or incentives has slowed any meaningful development of the biofuels sector. The legislation must create incentives around two main areas: the use of ethanol and its production.

Regarding ethanol use, the legislation should provide various levels of exemption from motor fuel excise taxes for blenders and a mandatory fuel blend of say 25 percent ethanol and 75 percent gasoline for gas stations.

Concerning ethanol production, the legislation should create incentives designed to encourage development of production facilities including: income tax credits for small ethanol producers, direct financing or guaranteed loans for capital construction, and direct subsidies for production.

Government should have no difficulty creating such generous incentives for the ethanol industry because ethanol is just about the only renewable-energy initiative that will have broad political support.

Nationalists would love it because it offers the possibility that Zimbabwe may wean itself off dependence on foreign oil. Farmers would love it because it would provide a new source of subsidy.

The automotive industry would love it, because it reckons that switching to a green fuel will take the global-warming heat off cars. The national oil industry would love it because the use of ethanol as a fuel additive means it is business as usual, at least for the time being. Politicians will certainly love it because by subsidising ethanol they can please all those constituencies.

Besides, in all likelihood taxpayers won't seem to notice that they are footing the bill.

But what they will notice is a cheaper, clean-burning, renewable energy source that will see us switch from dwindling foreign oil wells to boundless fields of crops to satisfy our energy needs.

Garikai Chengu is a Researcher at Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He can be contacted at The views expressed herein are solely those of Garikai Chengu.

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Chilanga has shown MMD a red card - Magande

Chilanga has shown MMD a red card - Magande
By Chibaula Silwamba and Mwala Kalaluka
Thu 28 Oct. 2010, 04:00 CAT

MMD has been shown a red card in Chilanga and is going into oblivion, former member of parliament for Chilanga Ng’andu Magande said yesterday. And Magande denounced President Rupiah Banda for commissioning developmental projects, which he and late president Levy Mwanawasa initiated without acknowledging the duo’s roles.

Meanwhile, Magande said UPND’s newly-elected Chilanga member of parliament Captain Capt Cosmas Moono’s popularity has declined because he got about 50 per cent of votes compared to those he garnered in 2006 when he lost to him.

Commenting on the MMD’s loss of the Chilanga parliamentary seat on Monday, in a by-election occasioned after the MMD expelled him for championing intra-party democracy, Magande said the electorate had shown the MMD that they were not happy with them.

“I think MMD has now been shown a red card without even Fr Frank Bwalya flashing it to them. In Chilanga, MMD has very slim chance of winning next year, especially when I put my candidate after I form my party. They will have no chance at all,” Magande said.

“What has happened in Chilanga is a sign and message to MMD that the Magande that you want to close the history books is still here and he also did something and for us we don’t appreciate that you want to write a history book without including the contribution of Magande to the development of the country.”

Magande said the MMD did not know the people of Chilanga and Zambia in general and would not retain power in 2011 elections.

“Zambians are beginning to get fade up with being told certain stories. Stories like, ‘now I am handing over 72 houses in Chipata for the police,’ without saying that ‘the previous president Levy Mwanawasa who passed away is the one who started these houses in 2007 and his Minister of Finance and his Minister of Home Affairs who is still with me are the ones who started it’,” Magande said.

“Why do you want to get credit on things that were done with other people? Somehow, MMD is no more there. It is very clear that MMD will go nowhere. They are avoiding mentioning my name that I was one of the people who started the projects.”

Magande attributed the apathy in the Chilanga by-election to the MMD’s intolerance towards him.

“The people are saying, ‘well, if you don’t want this person who has done so much for us, then we don’t accept you, go away.’ What I didn’t realise was the kind of rejection the party would face,” Magande said.

“I knew that the MMD would lose, one of the other parties would win but it would seem the Chilanga people just said: ‘we are fade up with you people for chasing Honourable Magande’.”

Magande said Capt Moono’s popularity had gone down.

“In 2006 we had about 16,000 voters. I don’t understand how people are not analytical. Can you imagine in 2006 he got about 6,000 6, 070 votes but this time around he has about 3, 000 votes 3, 702 votes, 50 per cent less, and he says, ‘I am very popular!” Magande said.

“I keep on saying, ‘I am a mathematician. Even if he is not a mathematician one time he will get 6,000 people saying they want him and within three years you get half of those people and you say, ‘I am still popular’.”

Magande observed that many voters that voted for Capt Moono in 2006 had not voted for him this time around.

“For me, it means he didn’t even get any one of my voters to vote for him, so there was no change. But from what I am getting, there was a lot of apathy. Obviously, most of the MMD people did not participate in the campaign because they were sidelined by Lusaka provincial officials and I suspect they didn’t vote,” Magande said.

“I think the other voters were also not amused that MMD people go there are they say ‘Honourable Magande didn’t do anything’ even when I did over a 100 projects; roads, schools, boreholes.”

Magande said the electorate did not vote for the MMD because they were expressing their displeasure that they were not amusing that the MMD did not even consult them before expelling him as their member of parliament.

He said it was unfortunate that the current MMD leadership under President Rupiah Banda was not acknowledging the role previous MMD leaders played in initiating developmental projects.

“They forget MMD of 1991 when we brought democracy. You have to give people credit that this democracy we are enjoying now was because of the movement that was started in 1991. How do you tell Zambians about development starting in 2008. Can you finish?” Magande said. “How can you say, ‘I have done Chipata-Mchinga railway within the last 12 months or built this and that school within the last 12 months?’ Unfortunately, because of that, the MMD as an organisation is going into oblivion.”

Magande said Zambians had now started to speak out against the wrongs going on in the country.

“Zambians are saying, ‘we don’t want to be ruled by individuals, we want to be ruled by individuals using teams of people’,” Magande said. “Since I and Mpombo were removed, it would seem nobody is talking about the convention in MMD. How are they going to select the candidate if they don’t go to the convention? If you don’t have an executive committee, how do you run an institution and how do you prepare for succession.”

Magande said he was consulting widely in order to form a formidable political party ahead of the 2011 tripartite elections.

“I am consulting and by the time I announce my party it be before elections and it will be a credible team, anti corruption people and some people that maybe you have never heard of but Zambians who have a vision and passion to develop this country,” Magande said. “I am very happy that I am going back to my officials in Chilanga and they are saying, ‘for us we know what you have done in Chilanga, we want you to aim high and we are waiting for you to come and campaign for the presidential position’. That is encouraging.”

He said he was sure of getting the votes in 2011.

“I am just working out my programme, contacting people in Mwinilunga, Lundazi and other places, finding out what is happening there, finding out what is happening to the bumper harvest that is now going to be a bumper disaster,” Magande said. “So, I am going to see clearly, what this country can be and who could manage it better. So for me a party is not necessary because people know me already. I think they know me from what I did as a civil servant and minister of finance. I am in a hurry to look for a party but what I am in a hurry to do is to have a firm ground on what I intend to do for the country.”

UPND’s Capt Moono polled 3,702 votes beating MMD’s Keith Mukata who got 2,339 votes while UNIP and NAREP candidates got only 131 and 50 votes respectively.

The MMD had expelled Magande from the party for alleged indiscipline after he repeatedly questioned the undemocratic practices in the party.
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